Distributed wiki idea (was blank--resending)

Discussion in 'Ruby' started by Carl Youngblood, May 31, 2004.

  1. For a while now I've been really excited about using wikis to store my
    random thoughts and to collaborate with others. They have proved
    somewhat useful, but I often have problems when I am in some place with
    my laptop but no internet access. I could jot down my ideas in a text
    file and save them in the wiki later when I get back on the internet,
    but I would like to be able to still view the other pages in the wiki
    when I'm offline, and I'd rather not have to explicitly export the wiki
    contents every time I leave the net and import them every time I return
    to it. So far I have found no practical way to do this.

    What I'm picturing is a wiki where you have a local copy on your
    machine that you can take with you that syncs back up with the online
    version later. At merge time any conflicts would be resolved on an
    individual basis.

    Though I haven't used it, I'm told that this is the idea behind GNU
    arch for source control. I want something similar for a wiki.
    Basically like a distributed version of instiki.

    Thoughts?
    Carl Youngblood, May 31, 2004
    #1
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  2. > Though I haven't used it, I'm told that this is the idea behind GNU
    > arch for source control. I want something similar for a wiki.
    > Basically like a distributed version of instiki.


    This has actually been a long time dream for Instiki right from the
    get-go. My role model is SubEthaEdit (a collaborative editor for OS X)
    that'll let each participant keep a copy of the shared document when
    the "server" goes online. Once that happens, any of the other
    participants can re-share the document and works continue on as if
    nothing happened. A very resistant model.

    The dream was to pair this with some native OS X technology in form of
    Rendezvous. Imagine being at a conference. One guy starts a wiki to
    collect notes. His machine is now the be all, end all of this
    conferences notes. That's a big liability for the rest of the
    attendents. His machine could go run out of battery, he could loose his
    net connection. Or just take his toys and go home early.

    Now, the dream continues, if other participants hooked on like in the
    SubEthaEdit scenario, and shared the wiki with the server, there would
    be a much more resiliant mesh. New pages and changes would get pushed
    around all the participating wikis. They would automatically find each
    other through Rendezvous and use a mutual observer-like (DRb?)
    relationship to push and pull news.

    I understand that this isn't quite what you're calling for, but perhaps
    this observer-like relationship doesn't have to be synchronous or near
    that. Perhaps it could be made to work very asynchronously, as in days
    apart.

    Anyway, these are my thoughts. Some work has already been done to
    further this as I've build a OS X native version of Instiki
    (double-clik and you're set!), which is scheduled to get Rendezvous
    support in the most childish form (merely broadcasting a notice that a
    webserver is running).
    --
    David Heinemeier Hansson,
    http://www.instiki.org/ -- A No-Step-Three Wiki in Ruby
    http://www.basecamphq.com/ -- Web-based Project Management
    http://www.loudthinking.com/ -- Broadcasting Brain
    http://www.nextangle.com/ -- Development & Consulting Services
    David Heinemeier Hansson, May 31, 2004
    #2
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  3. Carl Youngblood

    Ben Giddings Guest

    Carl Youngblood wrote:
    > Sounds cool, although one of the great things about instiki right now is
    > that it can be run on any platform that ruby can run on. It would be
    > great to have a distributed wiki that only required ruby. I, for one,
    > have a 12" iBook, a desktop running Windows XP and another PC running
    > Fedora linux. I would like to be able to use the wiki on any one of them.


    Well there's nothing about rendezvous that's fundamentally tied to OS X.
    (I know, having recently put it on an embedded Linux device), so this
    shouldn't be a major stumbling block.

    What I find interesting is that this sounds a lot like Lotus Notes. As
    I understand it, it's simply a database that users have on their
    machines, that every so often resynchs with a master server. They even
    do email that way.

    Now the p2p part could be interesting. How do you resolve conflicts
    between versions? Do you rely on the timestamps of the peer machines,
    even if they're not necessarily right? Do you treat one machine as
    special, say the one that created the document initially, and make it
    the server?

    Ben
    Ben Giddings, Jun 2, 2004
    #3
  4. Le 1 juin 04, à 22:41, Carl Youngblood a écrit :

    >
    >> Well there's nothing about rendezvous that's fundamentally tied to OS
    >> X. (I know, having recently put it on an embedded Linux device), so
    >> this shouldn't be a major stumbling block.

    >
    > So is rendezvous a completely open source technology? I thought it
    > was part of Apple's proprietary offerings.


    http://www.zeroconf.org/

    That's one domain where Apple has been pretty smart lately, taking full
    advantage of open standard and open source stuff (konqueror and Safari,
    cups, etc.). They create fancy names (airport for Wifi, Rendez-Vous for
    Zeroconf) to get recognition.
    Mandrake 10.0 I believe has an implementation of ZeroConf.

    Guillaume.
    Guillaume Marcais, Jun 2, 2004
    #4
  5. il Wed, 2 Jun 2004 09:32:51 +0900, Ben Giddings
    <> ha scritto::

    >Now the p2p part could be interesting. How do you resolve conflicts
    >between versions? Do you rely on the timestamps of the peer machines,
    >even if they're not necessarily right? Do you treat one machine as
    >special, say the one that created the document initially, and make it
    >the server?


    if you look on the subethaedit website you'll find reference to papers
    about multiple synchronous editing, that may be of interest to you.
    gabriele renzi, Jun 2, 2004
    #5
  6. Carl Youngblood

    James Britt Guest

    Carl Youngblood wrote:
    ...
    James Britt, Jun 4, 2004
    #6
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